Ah, The Bookmobile – What A Great Way To Threaten Kids In My Day In Age!
I noticed this morning when I got into work that my "Big Book of Stuff" has today listed as National "Bookmobile Day." It's always observed the third Wednesday of April, as part of Library Week.
I saw that and immediately was transported back (at least in my mind) to my growing-up years in Chester. That was a big deal when the Bookmobile would roll into town every other week. That, and when we could place book orders through the school.
In fact, it was such a big deal that my folks would even use the Bookmobile as a carrot to get me to be nice to my sister and to do my chores. If I was naughty; no Bookmobile - nice, got to go.
I can still picture it like it was yesterday - walking up those three steps into the Bookmobile for the very first time and seeing all those books up on the shelves. The hardest part was limiting it to only three books. That was the maximum you could check out at one time.
I can even remember the very first book I went home with - "Red Skeleton's Favorite Ghost Stories." And once word got out at school that I had it, everyone wanted to be my best friend, figuring of course I would give them the book when I was done with it.
Of course, anyone who has ever been to a Bookmobile knows that's not how it works. You have to first check the book back in so it can be rented back out. That way the librarian knew who had it. But hey, what my "friends" didn't know didn't hurt them.
In this day in age of Kindles and electronic readers, it saddens me to think that my future grandkids probably won't ever get to experience the pure joy of getting to visit the Bookmobile. Yes, I realize there are a few still Bookmobiles around, but most kids these days would rather sit down and play a video game than go to a library on wheels.
I wish I had a dollar for every hour I spent in the backyard sitting under our big Linden tree reading books from the Bookmobile to my dog Mr. Jiggs. Even to this day, I have a hard time reading a book on my e-reader. It just doesn't seem right.
And apparently I'm not alone. Just last week I saw an ad on the Internet for a book cover you can buy to slip your e-reader into so it appears as though you're reading from an actual hardcover book.
Did I order one? What do you think? Of course!